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Exploratory Testing

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By fmunshi
Words 939
Pages 4
What is Exploratory Testing? Exploratory software testing is a powerful and fun approach to testing. In some situations, it can be orders of magnitude more productive than scripted testing. I haven't found a tester yet who didn't, at least unconsciously; perform exploratory testing at one time or another. Yet few of us study this approach, and it doesn't get much respect in our field. It's high time we stop the denial, and publicly recognize the exploratory approach for what it is: scientific thinking in real-time. Friends, that's a good thing.

Concurrent Test Design and Execution
The plainest definition of exploratory testing is test design and test execution at the same time. This is the opposite of scripted testing (predefined test procedures, whether manual or automated). Exploratory tests, unlike scripted tests, are not defined in advance and carried out precisely according to plan. This may sound like a straightforward distinction, but in practice it's murky. That's because "defined" is a spectrum. Even an otherwise elaborately defined test procedure will leave many interesting details (such as how quickly to type on the keyboard, or what kinds of behavior to recognize as a failure) to the discretion of the tester. Likewise, even a free-form exploratory test session will involve tacit constraints or mandates about what parts of the product to test, or what strategies to use. A good exploratory tester will write down test ideas and use them in later test cycles. Such notes sometimes look a lot like test scripts, even if they aren't. Exploratory testing is sometimes confused with "ad hoc" testing. Ad hoc testing normally refers to a process of improvised, impromptu bug searching. By definition, anyone can do ad hoc testing. The term "exploratory testing"--coined by Cem Kaner, in Testing Computer Software-- refers to a sophisticated, thoughtful approach to…...

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